2019 certainly was quite a year for SRTC.
Let’s hope 2020 is just as momentous!

Progress on the Cheltenham Court

The Cheltenham court proposal is gaining momentum. We have now executed all legal documentation with the Cheltenham Recreation Club (CRC) to build and operate the court at Cheltenham. I can’t over-emphasise how significant this step is, as it means we have security of tenure. This is something we never had at Macquarie, as the agreement was never signed. It gives us the confidence to plan the future of our club.


CRC have now modified their constitution to have Sydney Real Tennis as a subsection, and this is reflected on their website (https://www.cheltenhamrc.com.au/). I would like to take this opportunity to thank the team from CRC for their support and cooperation throughout this process.

We are now working through the Development Application with Hornsby Council, and once the DA is approved we will then continue our fundraising efforts. It should be noted that as we are proposing to build in a sensitive area, the development application phase can be slightly unpredictable – but we will continue to update you throughout the progress.

Aerial shot of Cheltenham Recreational Club.
View to the South where the court is proposed along with lawn bowls rink, tennis courts, croquet rink and existing clubhouse / café.
View to the North showing location of the train station along with original croquet rink and tennis courts.

Another Royal visit

HRH Prince Edward was recently in Australia to present awards to participants of the Duke of Edinburgh award. HRH was kind enough to agree to meet with us to discuss our progress at Cheltenham. I am very pleased to report that HRH was completely engaged and asked lots of questions about the court, and had a few suggestions. We were accompanied by the President of CRC and the Deputy Mayor of Hornsby Council.

HRH visit September 2019 with SRTC, CRC and Hornsby Council representatives.

Men’s World Championship / Major tournaments

In April next year Rob Fahey will be defending his World Championship title for a record 12th time, at the age of 51. The world race to the eliminator playoffs has now been concluded and the four players entitled to playoff for the right to challenge Rob Fahey are    1. Camden Riviere, 2. Chris Chapman, 3 Ben Taylor-Matthews, and 4. Nick Howell. We wish them all good luck and we look forward to watching some great tennis.

It has been a big few years for Rob, who was recently awarded a MBE and OAM.

The British open has recently come to a conclusion, with Camden Riviere defeating Rob Fahey in the final. Claire Fahey was again the only women to have played in the main draw of the grand slam tournaments, and was defeated in the round of 16 by John Lumley. These matches can been viewed on the Tennis and Rackets YouTube channel.

Inter-club matches, tournaments and upcoming  events

The British open has recently come to a conclusion, with Camden Riviere defeating Rob Fahey in the final. Claire Fahey was again the only women to have played in the main draw of the grand slam tournaments, and was defeated in the round of 16 by John Lumley. These matches can been viewed on the Tennis and Rackets YouTube channel.

The hospitality and fun at Hobart

Some of our SRTC members also participated in the Australian Masters and Exhibition street tournaments, held at RMTC. Congratulations to Sav and James on being runners up to Chris Sievers and Prue McCahey in the 50-55years doubles. I do note James was playing well down on his age group and both Sav and James represented SRTC admirably.

Sav and Greg Reid also participated in the Ballarat festival of tennis.

Sav and Greg Reid also participated in the Ballarat festival of tennis.

Please refer to our website for the 2020 calendar – including Boomerang, and remember that if you would like to play in any of the SRTC games, please contact club Captain James Willis.

Social events and marketing

The Social committee and marketing committee have been active all year, and we are looking at releasing a short video on the Cheltenham Recreation Club shortly to give people a better idea of the great facility it is.

During the year we also released our new logo. We now have a range of merchandise with that feature the new logo. For orders please visit our website.

Our annual trivia night was again a great success with the Cooper table taking home the chocolates this year. At the trivia night Melissa Dolahenty took out the paper plane longest throw completion and now holds the record for longest throw.

Cheltenham Recreational Club Open Day

Club Captain James Willis, and committee members Sav Cremona and Justin Cooper flew the real tennis ‘flag’ at CRC’s Open Day on 1st December. Alison Willis and Lynne Cooper were also in hand to ensure the boys didn’t get up to too much mischief.

Visitors were treated to a potted history of the game, and encouraged to follow our progress as we move towards building a new court at Cheltenham.

The small group of real tennis representatives were then treated to a croquet masterclass by Croquet President Janelle Barrett.  A fitting end to a lovely day at this beautiful club.

The 2020 tennis schedule is almost prepared, and we have some great events coming up.

Other news

We recently held the 2019 annual general meeting – many thanks to all those who attended.
We reviewed where we were up to and our future plans. The committee remains unchanged.

Recently we rummaged around in the RMTC storage rooms and reclaimed a few items. We have now brought the old SRTC net back to Sydney, along with the NSW open trophy – to keep on display in Sydney.

Photo of the NSW open trophy won by Rob Fahey, Toby Dolman and Rob Angell

There has been some exciting news on new courts overseas, with the Bordeaux court construction progressing well, and due to be opened early next year. In the USA the Charlestown club is in final fundraising phase, and they hope to start construction soon. We which them both the best of luck.

Finally, I would like to thank all of you for your ongoing support. Over the past year we have reengaged with many past members and made new friendships at RMTC, Ballarat, Hobart and internationally. I thank you for your support and hope 2020 will be a big year for SRTC.

Just a reminder to like us on the Sydney Real Tennis Facebook page.

Finally if you have any questions, would like to contact any members of the committee, or even get more involved in the Club, please get in touch.

Michael Fitzgerald, on behalf of the SRTC Committee

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